Let science lead the GMO debate

The Lempert Report
July 18, 2014

Discussing the facts and only the facts.

The debate over GMO’s is a hot issue and according to David Ropeik, International Consultant and Author on risk perception and communication, nothing will be achieved if we don't separate science from emotion. 

Here's what he says in an article on the website, "genetic literacy project":

“…Each side has its own opinion, and therefore its own view of the facts. Wouldn’t it be great if instead we could first objectively consider the hard scientific evidence, and then, separately, have the values debate about how some people don’t like big rich powerful companies like Monsanto, or corporate large scale agriculture, or the ways that human-made technology, for all its benefits, has also harmed the natural world.”

So what is his suggestion? A “science” court, where both sides conduct an assessment through fact only. This idea has been used before, for example, in 1980 the “Health Effects Institute” was created by the Environmental Protection Agency and automobile manufacturers in the midst of their debate on air pollution. The job of this “science court“ was to rule on the facts and only the facts.

It’s an interesting idea and whilst no doubt lobbyist groups would still get involved, it would certainly benefit the policy makers and the public if they knew that their decision making was based on fact… not someone else’s opinion.